Pierre Omidyar believes there should be no philanthropy without profit

Mark Ames writes: Perhaps no other figure embodies the disconnect between his progressive anti-state image, and his factual collaboration with the American national security state and the global neoliberal agenda, than Pierre Omidyar.

The role of Omidyar Network in so many major events of the past week — helping elect India’s ultranationalist leader Narendra Modi; co-funding Ukraine regime-change NGOs with USAID, resulting in a deadly civil war and Monday’s election of Ukrainian billionaire oligarch Petro Poroshenko; and now, this week’s first-ever sit-down TV interview with Edward Snowden, through an arrangement between NBC News and Pierre Omidyar’s First Look Media — shows how these contradictions are coming to the fore, and shaping our world.

Omidyar’s central role in the US national security state’s global agenda may still come as a shock to outsiders and fans of First Look media’s roster of once-independent journalists. But to White House foreign policy hawks, Pierre Omidyar represents the new face of an old imperial tradition. [Continue reading…]

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1 thought on “Pierre Omidyar believes there should be no philanthropy without profit

  1. A Meshiea

    I think you really have to buy into a lot of guilt-by-association argumentation to think this article is a good critique of Omidyar. Even the NGOs that are being funded don’t scream out to me anything but positive attempts at changing the rich-poor landscape in India.

    “So perhaps it’s little surprise that Omidyar’s first major India grant, in 2008, went to the Rural Development Institute’s (renamed “Landesa”) program “to help secure land rights for the rural poor” in India’s Andhra Pradesh state. “

    Sounds good to me.

    And this is just slime by association incarnate

    “The Rural Development Institute was founded in 1967 by Roy Prosterman, whose land reform programs were a key element in the Vietnam War counterinsurgency strategy, the “Phoenix” assassination program. The Phoenix program became the template for modern American counterinsurgency — violent terror, combined with soft-power land “reforms” cooked up by Prosterman’s Institute.”

    So the strategy of land reform was thought up by Prosterman and inserted as a co-strategy to the awful Phoenix program? So does that make the ostensible carrot with the vile stick evil?

    And this has the tone of a sloppy Marxist but is just a reflection of pulling a 3rd world country that is becoming an economic powerhouse into a 1st world economy. Oh no it involves property rights!

    “Leaving aside the alleged benefits to India’s poor of giving them land title to the commons — 400,000,000 Indians live on less than $1.25 a day — for the more powerful interests funding land titling programs, there are endless advantages. It helps create a mass tax base for governments that want to shift more taxes onto the masses; it formalizes and legalizes transfer of property from the commons to the strongest and richest; it makes foreign investors happy; it helps the government and businesses track and keep data on its citizens; and, to quote Omidyar Network managing partner Matt Bannick — recently appointed by the Obama White House to a special taskforce — Prosterman’s land reforms made Omidyar “excited about how micro-land ownership can empower women and help them to pull themselves out of poverty.””

    This is a really poor hit-piece and it doesn’t even hit anything. I was waiting to hear what the super scandal was and, well there wasn’t any. You don’t have to be “progressive” to be anti-state by the way. There isn’t even a contradiction in that.

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